More than a decade into the development of gold nanoparticles for cancer therapies, with multiple clinical trials underway, ongoing pre-clinical research continues towards better understanding in vivo interactions with the goal of treatment optimization through improved best practices. In an effort to collect information for healthcare providers, enabling informed decisions in a relevant time frame, instrumentation for real-time plasma concentration (multi-wavelength pulse photometry) and protocols for rapid elemental analysis (energy dispersive X-Ray fluorescence) of biopsied tumor tissue have been developed in a murine model. An initial analysis, designed to demonstrate the robust nature and utility of the techniques, revealed that area under the bioavailability curve (AUC) alone does not currently inform tumor accumulation with a high degree of accuracy (R2=0.32), This finding suggests that the control of additional experimental and physiological variables may yield more predictable tumor accumulation. Subject core temperature are blood pressure were monitored, but did not demonstrate clear trends. An effort to modulate AUC has produced an adjuvant therapy which is employed to enhance circulation parameters, including the AUC, of nanorods and gold nanoshells. Preliminary studies demonstrated a greater than 300% increase in average AUC through the use of a reticuloendothelial blockade agent versus control groups. Given a better understanding of the relative importance of the physiological factors which impact rates of tumor accumulation, a proposed set of experimental best practices is presented.